Synopses & Reviews
Maxine Clair, award-winning author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Rattlebone
and the novel October Suite,
has assembled a deeply inspirational yet practical book to help readers access their inner creativity. Imagine This
is a beautifully written set of deeply personal stories from which Clair draws examples of how we can be aware of the now, keep ourselves motivated, and create work of which we are proud.
Imagine This explains how some of us consciously choose the vehicle through which we express our magnificence be it business, art, science, or other while others of us have dutifully plied a trade in arenas that society has suggested are worthwhile, with self-expression only fixed on a hobby. Both, Clair maintains, can contribute to a good life. Occasionally, however, a moment comes that is sufficiently insistent on deep examination. In that moment we float the possibility for expression of a greater self.
Imagine This shows readers how to be aware of these moments and how our inner creativity is always seeking an outlet. By combining captivating memoir with step-by-step advice, Clair helps us find and develop our own unique and personal creative outlets.
"Life coach and poet Clair (Rattlebone) advocates the New Age mission of self-realization with this succinct, easy-to-follow workbook. A survivor of domestic abuse, Clair earned two advanced degrees; after a long career as a medical technologist, she became an English professor at George Washington University and an award-winning writer. Setting the example for how self-realization improved her life, she outlines the journey to empowerment that worked for her in nine steps: for example, the first step toward 'pursuing a greater sense of wakefulness' is simply to keep a journal. Each chapter opens with Clair's personal problems and how she overcame them, ending with a series of exercises that require some measure of introspection as well as a time commitment. For those who may be floundering, she advises looking for inspiration in 'places that hold your idea of beauty' or simply chilling by watching 'wall paper dry.' While followers of Shakti Gawain and Louise Hay may be familiar with the technique of using affirmations to implement positive change, for the uninitiated, Clair brings a fresh point of view to the pursuit of self-fulfillment. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Maxine Clair's Rattlebone
"Strong, melodic, and honest...[Clairs] characters are lush and real....We need stories like these to replenish us." Terry McMillan
"Extraordinary...Each skillful plot twist, each new wonderful character has the effect of a sip of literary love potion." The New York Times Book Review
"Clair consistently attains the poetry organic to everyday speech...[Rattlebone is] told in a style that is memorable for its ability to shift tones and to capture, in rich and controlled language, new levels of consciousness." The Washington Post
"Lovely, lyrical and full of charm...Clairs first work of fiction is as much a record of a gentler era as it is a sensitive and wise coming-of-age story." San Francisco Chronicle
"Each of [Rattlebone's] related stories contains insight and intensity on its own; as a group they successfully create the African- American 1950s Kansas City (Kans.) community of the title as an insular world replete with detail and texture.... Even greater than the sum of its admirable parts." Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Maxine Clair's October Suite:
"[October Suite] tells a simple story in a sweetly straightforward, lyrical style that builds a surprising amount of power as it moves quietly along.... Clair tells her story with a pitch-perfect feel for the time and the people African-Americans just beginning to sense the rising tide of the civil rights revolution and her character drawing is uncannily exact." Publishers Weekly
"Poet and short-story writer [Maxine] Clair (Rattlebone) has skillfully brought lyricism and word-play to [October Suite], a family saga filled with secrets, redemption, and rivalry...Clair's descriptions give even the most ordinary objects a musical feel, and her relaxed prose style gives the reader a chance to discover all the layers of her complex and very real characters. A satisfying read; recommended for all fiction collections." Library Journal
"Told with a quiet drama, enriched by period details and well-developed characters who act with realistic compassion and cruelty. An absorbing look at a woman coming to terms with her past and shaping a better future." Booklist
"Told in a melody all its own, this story touches many lovely and unexpected notes. October Brown chooses to reinvent herself, only to inadvertently discover herself, and the final chord of accepting herself (and others) reverberates poignantly." Elizabeth Strout
"October Brown is a heroine who will break and mend your heart. Maxine Clair has written a beautifully imagined novel that pulses with all the colors and sounds of the lives we live." Marita Golden
About the Author
Maxine Clair is a poet, short story writer, and novelist. Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, she had a career in medical technology as chief technologist at a D.C.-area children's hospital before pursuing and achieving her MFA at George Washington University.